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Trip Report    

Mount Baker/Easton Glacier

Fri, Jun 19, 2015 — Sat, Jun 20, 2015

Trail is snow free from the trailhead to the top of the railroad grade. Spotty snow from this point up to just below 6500 feet. The route is in generally good shape with many small, open crevasses and some MUCH larger ones leading up the standard route up until around 8700 feet. At this point there is a large crevasse on an uphill grade that has a very thin and narrow snow bridge that is not likely to last much longer. We saw no obvious bypass. It's on an uphill grade and takes 2-3 steps to cross with considerable exposure. It was rock hard frozen when we ascended but was certain to soften considerably later in the day as it warmed up. Large crevasses prevent ascending to the crater but they are easily bypassed by traversing west and then north and switchbacking to the summit plateau. On the descent I was unwilling to have the team cross the thin snow bridge given the rapidly warming temps. Instead we climbed past the crater to the lower edge of the rock ridge that runs off it, then traversed east towards the Squak glacier, end running many large crevasses. This took us a bit longer but the snow bridges we crossed were much more secure. We then traversed south/west and rejoined the main route as the crevasses shrunk to "step across" size.

We left camp around 2am, a little later than planned. 5 hours to summit. 4.5 hours back to camp, longer due to the eastern re-route to avoid the softening snow bridges on the standard route. Uneventful hike out to the cars Back in plenty of time for a nice group dinner in Mt Vernon.

Weather was glorious. Spotty clouds on Friday that cleared up in the evening. Cold temps when we left camp that held until we reached the summit. Cold and windy on the summit so we took a few pics and promptly left. 360 degree unobstructed views. Awesome! The box of ashes we found on the summit last weekend were not there anymore. Things really heated up once we dropped below the crater and started our eastern traverse.

Observed several marmots including one that got into our camp and found some hidden trash. Only saw a few parties climbing, one that looked like a guided group (or a group of guides) that had reached the summit before us. We observed a larger team ascending on the way down and later observed them descending the standard route. Observed many people hiking in on Saturday, several climbing parties and many campers and day hikers. Lots of people going to camp in the meadow, many with dogs. It will be a busy weekend at Mt Baker!

Overall a great day!

 

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